RIGHT TO VOTE
By TRACI BARNES
I have heard many discussions lately about voter registration. It gets confusing with all the dates and number of days before an election. So I thought this would be a good way to get the correct information out. I have taken the information below from the Voter Registration Form, which is really easy to fill out.
* Voter registration closes 24 days before an election. If you apply when registration is closed, your application will be processed when registration reopens after the election.
* If you mail this application, it must be postmarked more than 24 days before the election in which you wish to vote.
*You may not vote until you receive a Voter Card from the County Election Board.
*If you do not receive a Voter Card within 30 days, contact your local County Election Board.
*If you have questions, call your local County Election Board or call 405-521-2391.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING VOTER REGISTRATION APPLICATION
SECTION 1 — NAME
Oklahoma law requires you to provide proof of identity when you appear in person to vote. Your name on your voter registration application should match your name on your driver license or any other document used to show proof of identity for voting purposes.
SECTION 4 — POLITICAL PARTY
*If you register in a political party recognized in Oklahoma you may vote only for that party’s candidates in primary elections.
*If you register No Party (Independent) you CANNOT vote for party candidates in primary elections.
*If you register in a political organization recognized in Oklahoma you CANNOT vote for party candidates in primary elections.
*If you choose a political party or organization not recognized in Oklahoma, you will be registered as a No Party (Independent) voter.
*You may not be able to change your political party at certain times in even-numbered years.
SECTION 5 — STREET ADDRESS OR DIRECTIONS TO YOUR HOME
*You must register to vote at your address of residence. If you have a street address or 911 address, this is your address of residence.
*A rural route or a post office box is NOT an address of residence.
SECTION 8 — HAVE YOU BEEN REGISTERED BEFORE?
*If you have been registered before, enter information about the place you were last registered. If you have never been registered before, leave this space blank.
*Enter your former name if it has changed since you last registered.
*Enter your former political party if you are changing your political party.
SECTION 9 — OATH
Read the oath carefully. Sign and date it in ink. If you cannot sign your name, make your mark and give the name of the person who helped you.
*Who Can Register – You can register to vote if you are a citizen of the United States, a resident of the State of Oklahoma, and 18 years old or older.
*Felons – A convicted felon may not register for a period equal to the time of the original sentence. A convicted felon who has been pardoned may register.
*Persons Judged Incapacitated – Persons judged incapacitated by a court may not register to vote.
WARNING: All answers on this application must be true. It is a felony to submit false information on this form. You can be prosecuted if you do. If you are convicted, you can be imprisoned for not more than five years, fined not more than $50,000.00, or both.
You may use this form if you are:
*A citizen of the United States.
*A resident of Oklahoma.
*18 years old or older.
*Register to vote for the first time in Oklahoma.
*Change your address for voter registration within Oklahoma.
*Change your name.
*Change your political party.
Voter Registration forms can be picked up at the LeFlore County Election Board. Their office is in the parking lot area behind the LeFlore County Courthouse. We also have a stack on the front desk at the Days Inn & Suites here in Poteau. If you are unable to get to the Election Board before it closes feel free to stop by and pick up your registration.
If you will turn 18 before the next election pick up your form and pre-register.
So remember voting is a right, not to be neglected. If you do not vote, you do not have the right to gripe about what is going on. Be a part of the system and let your voice be heard!
Until next week…